This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Donlon Elementary School5
Posted July 22, 2014
- a parent
This school is excellent. We just moved here 2 yrs ago and so happy. The houses around are reasonable and the school is so good. I see negative feedbacks but guess that if or a few negative ones we shouldn't judge the entire school. In my neighbourhood all of the houses have their kids go to this school. We all walk together:) the teachers are great. Mrs Franck, mrs Vans and mrs Garcia are best kindergartner teachers. My kids had them and totally loved them! Parent iinvolvement is great. We have fun runs, ice cream social, science days, field trips that were organized so well. The staff is great too!!!
I totally agree that school supplies list has been provided much before the next school year! And for that matter the staff nips so helpful you can actually request them anytime for a list and they will even print one for you! I can't believe how people who are not organized write such reviews and people who believe them. I moved here and have been enjoying every but of it. Homes prices are better, val vista park with the water feature is walking distance, weekends I take my kids to the summer camp for soccer that happens right behind the school playground! I love the school- agree they have changing principals but the test scores are not hampered at all. That's the involvement of the teachers!!!!It's a good school with perfect blend of all races as compared to Dublinr, livermore and San Ramon!!!!!
This district has a zero tolerance policy that does not seem to be in effect at this school. If they are busy they will just push it under the rug even if your child is not safe and won't notify you about it. The school is overcrowded and the staff such as principals keep being replaced. With paying such high prices to live in this area for our children's education I expect more and I want to know that when I drop off my child they will be safe so they can focus on schoolwork, If you have children in this school talk to them and find out what happens every day! Be involved! They are not!
My daughter has been at this school for 2 years now - we moved here when she started 3rd grade and my son started her in Kindergarten. My daughter had a very hard time fitting in and after being bullied I tried to get the teacher involved and he said that is the way 3rd grade girls are and refused to help in any way shape or manner. I finally had to take my complaint to the principal who did absolutely nothing. My son's Kindergarten teacher and the teacher that she shares a classroom with decided that they didn't want the hassle of having an end of the year ceremony even though the other 2 Kindergarten classrooms were having one. She explained to me that it was just too much work. There is absolutely no direction or guidance given to the teachers at this school. They are hiring their 5th principal in 5 years and it is absolutely not surprising to me why. The office staff are often rude and seem disconnected. New parents have no way to learn about the school and have no resources given to them i.e. a welcome group of parents. The communication flow is terrible at this school and after being there for 2 years, I finally feel like I kinda know what is going on at the school.
The reason why the school is successful is because of very hands on and very generous parents. Every month there are about three different fund raisers going on but there is no real pressure to have to contribute to all, all at once. With that being said, my gripe with this school is really the parents. My kid came into Donlon in first grade, and most of the other kids have been in pre-k, kinder and now first grade together. They even have extra-curricular activities together, which is great. But they are quite clique-y. There is not much room for inclusion for the new kids. But my kids' first grade teachers have been fantastic, always communicating what needs to be done, and always encouraging what is working out. However, because of my previous stated gripe, I may have to take out m child from the school because of the emotional trauma she is currently experiencing. Sadly she was happier at a lower level school she was previously in because of how much nicer everyone was there.
I went to this school a long time ago, so when I had my son, I would send him there too. Worst mistake I ever made. He went there 4 years and in that time he only had one teacher who even cared and treated him as a kid and not just a number for a paycheck. His first grade teacher who let him sleep when he wanted informs us he had to go to Sylvan to pass grade 1. She made no effort with him and like the other teachers when it came to meet, they could not be bothered to discuss plans or anything to make things better. I was thankful for his second grade teacher. She treated like a kid and had no problems with them. We were also told the teachers like girl students and can not be bothered by the boys. My son cried 3 out of the 4 years he went there begging not to get out of the car. I finally removed him and to this day trying to undo his mental issues of self esteem that this school created in him feeling like a worthless child. Shame on this school for picking teachers who are only there for a paycheck.
Donlon has been a good school for my 2 children. They do have an issue regarding their system for collecting "donations" for school supplies. I feel cornered into purchasing a school supplied kit for twice the price I could othewise pay for the items. Handing out the supply list at Back To School night is NOT acceptable; last time I checked BTS night is several days AFTER the school year begins. Otherwise, my kids have been fortunate in their teachers, who for the most part have been excellent. Parents are also heavily involved in the classroom.
I can give it only an average rating. On the positive side, it is a friendly place. There is a lot of parent involvement here which I like and the current principal is nice enough. However, the quality of teachers is mixed. Some are great and some are only mediocre. They seem overwhelmed and often unmotivated. They teach to testing, so scores remain high, but if you are move here for the educational opportunities in Pleasanton, you will probably be disappointed. We have just been told class size is increasing again! Buildings are crowded and classrooms are too small for the amount of students now. I cringe to think of 5 more students in each class next year. Donlon is planning to go to a split arrival schedule to accommodate everyone. We have 2 children and moved here 3 years ago for the schools. We have been renting and decided not to buy here. We can get more for our investment somewhere else. Pleasanton schools are not bad but not good enough. One other budget note, all students are asked to contribute $45 for school supplies,(no list is provided so you can do it yourself). You will be asked to contribute $40 per classroom and another $10 for an agenda.